This, frankly is deeply impressive. Thanks The Long Now Foundation for leading me into something that I fear will obsess me for some time! We always think we are so new and original in our thinking and we forget how old the concepts and ideas we are working with actually are. This is a as true in books as it is in techonology of all sorts. If you doubt it, read this book which has much to say on the subject.
The Freakonomics blog moved yesterday from its own dedicated site to a new home at the New York Times. Stephen Dubner has a long post explaining the reasons here.
I guess we should not be too surprised. The value of a site and community like Freakonomics is very clear. The monetizing potential must be high. Sites like it are the model most publishers think of when they think of online communities built around books and authors.
All in all I think this is both a good day for digital content publishers (and book publishers in general) but a bad day I should think for the actual publisher of Freakonomics, William Morrow. Surely they must be reluctant to see such a property go to another publisher, even one as powerful as the NYT. They are left with a much less attractive site to promote the book itself? Was there a deal done int he background?